This is the ultimate version of the "limited edition CD" trend". The web site erasuredownload.com offers a web interface, a kind of music configurator, representing different parts of the music like the bass line, synth lines, drum pattern, vocal delivery and backing vocals.
In his article, Sean reports how he purchased mix number 16835 (out of about 40,000 different possible mixes). But most important:
"The site won't sell two remixes the same, but there are 40,000 different possible combinations to choose from. "When someone tries to buy a version we check whether the version number is already bought or not," says Marc-Henri Wouters, CEO and founder of Trust Media, the company behind the customization technology. "If the desired version has not been previously bought, then we continue the buying process. Otherwise we ask the user to choose another version." Now that is what I call a limited edition."
Read the full story here: http://www.sean.co.uk
This is a nice idea, and from a marketing perspective, I like the artificial limitation of the tracks. The service offers also some devoted fans without large computer or composing skills the possibility to create a custom product which shows their personal bonding to the band.
However, on the long run, I think this kind of customization is not really sustaining. New music is created by mixing and matching existing tunes, sounds, ideas or motives -- and thus the idea of sharing a band's tunes freely under a Creative Commons License with all fans is much more sustainable and satisfying. And only this allows for real creativity. This is where open innovation is superior to good ol' mass customization. There are a huge number of bands which share their content more openly with their fans (have a look at http://creativecommons.org/audio/).